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THIS book is the record of over a year's intensive study of modern
India. The accent is on the word * modern.' It is an endeavour
to trace the workings of the Indian mind not only in politics but—
inter alia—in art, in literature, in music, in medicine, in journalism,
in the cinema, and, of course, in religion.
It has involved journeys of many thousands of miles, on foot, by
car, by bullock-cart, by aeroplane and occasionally on a stretcher.
I have not attempted to describe these journeys except in so far
as they illustrate the main theme.
There are two reasons for this foreword.
The first is to stress the fact that Verdict on India is, as the pave-
ment artists used to say, 'all my own work.* It is not 'British
propaganda'; it does not represent the 'official point of view,5
whatever that may be; it is not sponsored by the India Office. I
have never met Mr. Amery, nor seen, him, nor heard him, nor
communicated with him or with anybody connected with him,
unto the third and fourth generation.
It is necessary to insist upon this point because almost from the
day I set foot in India the national Press chose to regard me, to
my considerable astonishment, as ambassador of Empire, envoy
incognito, armed with all manner of secret weapons of diplomacy
and intrigue* It was fiercely asserted that I was in the pay of the
Government—playing the role, presumably, of a sort of rococo
Stafford Crips. One paper so far lost its sense of humour and
proportion as to announce that I had been offered the post of
The facts, alas, are less glamorous* I came to India, original^,
as a correspondent of Allied Newspapers; a long and serious
illness interrupted this connection; I stayed on as an independent
observer; and when I felt that I had observed enough, I wrote
this book. It is a completely individual expression of a personal
point of view.
The second reason for this foreword is to apologize, in advance*
1 Bombay Seriwel, May 5th, 1943,